16 May 2019
Samsung for even smaller nm chips has come up with a new processor tech and it’s part of the Gate All Around tech. The GAA refashions the way transistors are placed in the chips thus making them smaller and faster. Samsung at its Foundry Forum event threw some light on the progress of its various processes and the capability of such chips that will be made out of this foundry process.
Transistors, which are the fundamentals of any chip includes a structure called gate that controls the flow of current across a channel. The GAA wraps the channel completely thus making a more complex 3D structure that’s more complicated to manufacture.
Samsung says its 3nm Gate-All-Around (GAA) process, 3GAE development is on track and the Process Design Kit (PDK) version 0.1 for 3GAE has already been released in April to help customers get an early start on the design work. According to Samsung, compared to a 7nm technology, Samsung’s 3GAE process is designed to provide up to 45 percent reduction in chip area with 50% lower power consumption or 35% higher performance.
Samsung believes this GAA-based process node will be widely adopted in next-generation applications, such as mobile, network, automotive, Artificial Intelligence or IoT.
The newest GAA is based on Samsung’s patented MBCFET that uses a nanosheet architecture, enabling greater current per stack. MBCFET is a version of GAA and it provides greater design flexibility by controlling the nanosheet width. Also, it uses the same manufacturing technology and equipment that the FinFET uses, thus avoiding the need for any kind of new production. This accelerates process development and production ramp-up.
While announcing its new processor technology, Samsung also offers the roadmap to let you expect the arrival of some of its applications. In the second half of this year, Samsung is scheduled to start the mass production of 6nm process devices and complete the development of a 4nm process. The product design of Samsung’s 5nm FinFET process is expected to be completed in the second half of this year and go under mass production in the first half of 2020. So, expect the 3nm chips to arrive only in 2021.